Tuesday, August 12, 2003

For the past couple of years, I have had a subscription to the Melbourne Theatre Company.

On the whole this has been a fabulous experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone even slightly interested in theatre. I wouldn’t call myself an avid fan, but I enjoy a good show, and the subscription means that you see shows you wouldn’t normally choose to see. I haven’t loved every show, but they have all had something to offer, and some have been just brilliant.

So last week I went to the latest show, a play called “Metamorphoses”. This is basically a telling of many of the classic Greek Myths (based on Ovid’s interpretations), made more interesting by setting the show in a pool of water. The theatre had a purpose built pool, maybe 8m square, which would be around 10cm deep at the shallow end, and then 60cm or so deep at the deep end. Thankfully we were not sitting in the first few rows, because there was quite a bit of splashing, although these audience members were thoughtfully provided with towels.

My ridiculous problem with these plays is that most of the actors are recognisable from one of a variety of Australian television shows. As a helpless sucker for bad television, I spent most of the play thinking
“Ah-ha! That’s the ugly guy from Secret Life of Us who Gabrielle had an affair withs’ wife!"
Or “that’s the lass from Blue Heelers who slept with Ben and is Inspector Falcon Price’s wife!”
Or “ He’s the guy that Richie had raunchy sex with in a toilet block in Secret Life!” Or “that’s the guy from that ad for beer!”
and then also the annoying one “I know them from somewhere but I cant think where….”

So all is going along swimmingly (Ha! Get it? Water, swimming! – Ok, sorry) until one scene, where an actor plays the part of Eros (I think that’s who he was – I fully confess to knowing nothing about Greek mythology). He enters the stage and is wearing only angel wings and a blindfold, and he then wades through the water to a raft floating in the middle. He then gets on to the raft and curls up into a little ball. As he was doing this curl, all I could think about was the poor people at the other side of the theatre that would have had a view right up his unmentionable as he bent over. Hmmm.

But regardless of that, it was a great show, and the water was used to great effect. My advice is don’t sit in the front or on the side closest to the door, unless you want to have your hair washed or an extra special view!


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